Golden Gate Capital, a $12 billion San Francisco-based private equity firm with a significant software and technology portfolio, has entered into an agreement to acquire library automation solutions provider Ex Libris Group from current owner Leeds Equity Partners, the companies announced this morning. The deal is expected to be completed in December. Under new ownership, Ex Libris will remain an independent business based in Jerusalem and run by the current management team, the company explained in the announcement. Additional terms of the sale were not disclosed.
There is great hope that these rapidly maturing discovery products will not only promote information literacy strategies but also deliver what metasearch (or federated search) has failed to achieve—a Google-like interface that provides a fast, single point of entry to an institution’s relevant and vetted scholarly content. However, at the moment, even as libraries are struggling to reestablish themselves as a compelling place to start research, the three constituencies—libraries, content providers, and discovery service vendors—cannot even agree on a common vocabulary to describe what they do.